Cristina Balagué

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Rapid advances are being made in the engineering of replication-competent viruses to treat cancer. Adenovirus is a mildly pathogenic human virus that propagates prolifically in epithelial cells, the origin of most human cancers. While virologists have revealed many details about its molecular interactions with the cell, applied scientists have developed(More)
Two adeno-associated virus (AAV) elements are necessary for the integration of the AAV genome: Rep78/68 proteins and inverted terminal repeats (ITRs). To study the contribution of the Rep proteins and the ITRs in the process of integration, we have compared the integration efficiencies of three different plasmids containing a green fluorescent protein (GFP)(More)
Malignant melanoma is characterized by growing incidence, early metastasis, and a lack of effective treatment for advanced disease, suggesting a pressing need for novel therapeutic approaches. Conditionally replicative adenoviruses (CRAds) constitute a new and promising strategy for cancer treatment that has been rapidly translated into clinical trials. We(More)
Infection represents a major associated problem in severely burned patients, as it causes skin graft failure and increases the risk of mortality. Topical and systemic antibiotic treatment is limited by the appearance of resistant bacterial strains. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are gene-encoded "natural antibiotics" that form part of the innate mechanism of(More)
TNF is a key factor in a variety of inflammatory diseases. Here we report that TNF induced pro-inflammatory cytokine synthesis of IL-6 and IL-8 is mediated by the Rho GTPase Rac. TNF induces p42/p44, p54 and p38 MAPK kinase; these kinases have been implicated in control of cytokine synthesis. However, over-expression of a dominant negative form of Rac(More)
Replication-competent adenoviruses are being investigated as potential anticancer agents. Exclusive virus replication in cancer cells has been proposed as a safety trait to be considered in the design of oncolytic adenoviruses. From this perspective, we have investigated several adenovirus mutants for their potential to conditionally replicate and promote(More)
The successful prophylactic treatment of hemophilia A by frequent infusions of plasma concentrates or recombinant factor VIII (hFVIII) indicates that gene therapy may be a potential alternative for the treatment of the disease. For efficient delivery and long-term expression of the hFVIII gene, a novel minimal adenovirus (mini-Ad) vector, MiniAdFVIII, has(More)
Currently, most of the approved clinical gene therapy protocols involve cancer patients and several of the therapies are designed to treat brain tumors. Two factors promoting the use of gene therapy for gliomas are the failure and toxicity of conventional therapies and the identification of the genetic abnormalities that contribute to the malignancy of(More)
Malignant gliomas are the most frequently occurring primary brain tumors and are resistant to conventional therapy. Conditionally replicating adenoviruses are a novel strategy in glioma treatment. Clinical trials using E1B mutant adenoviruses have been reported recently and E1A mutant replication-competent adenoviruses are in advanced preclinical testing.(More)
To achieve efficient delivery and sustained expression of the human factor VIII cDNA in vivo, a minimal-adenoviral (mini-Ad) vector system was developed. The system is composed of a mini-Ad vector with essential cis-elements (less than 1 kb) of the viral genome, an E1-deleted ancillary Ad with packaging attenuation, and an E1-complementing production cell(More)